It has been a quiet season for me. After a year of chaos, we are experiencing calm and peace. It is nice. However, I have more than one friend going through just the opposite. Dealing with relationship issues, teenage issues, or aging parent issues- and for them, life is anything but calm and quiet. I get calls, and all I want to do is hold my friends, love on them, and assure them it will all be ok.
Women worry. Even though we all know, the Bible says not to.
Matthew 6:25-34 tells us not to worry-
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
My guess is you know it well. I do not know one woman that has mastered the art of not worrying. Men on the other hand! It ‘appears’ to be a rare instance they spend days and sleepless nights in a fit of concern and worry, and if they do, it is typically a catastrophic life event. Men don’t think like women- write as many books as you want (Mars or Venus, Saturn or Mercury), teach as many classes as you like- there is a gap in understanding that I believe will never be fully closed.
Women are emotional and take everything very personal, deeper than men take. In the midst of an argument, your husband might say he is going to the store. You take it to mean- “He’s so angry he has to get away, he doesn’t want to talk about it, and he is trying to ignore it.” However, all it means is- he is going to the store to get the oil filter he needed, or the soda you forgot to buy. His odd timing of a trip has nothing to do with you, he just has NO idea how women think. Yet in our brilliant wisdom, we tend to make it about us, about the disagreement, about not getting along, communicating, etc. etc. We often make it about so much more than it ever was.
I have seen some intense marriage struggles- in my own life and the life of my girlfriends. I have both tried to help, and silently prayed. I have listened, I have understood, and I have advised. Our perspective can be guided by what we so strongly believe, instead of being clear about what actually is. Heartbreak, distrust, the many aspects of abuse- from emotional to physical, the threats, the silent treatments- they leave a spouse exhausted, and when we are exhausted, our vision isn’t at its best.
The truth is when we cannot understand this life; it is time to change something. To gain an understanding, not of men or in particular, your husband, but of God, and where he stands in your life through those battles. Do we remember to let Him in? When things are good we praise, shout, share, and celebrate His love for us! We will scream it from the mountaintops. When in a challenging marriage crisis, a worrisome bout of teenage collision, or our own internal struggle of whatever it may be we pray but we never listen. We cry out, we weep, but we forget to be silent and to hear His love pour into us.
When life feels out of control, and you are experiencing something you have never been through, that has knocked you to your knees and cut you to the core- you have to find the strength to stop worrying. Though everything about being a woman makes you turn into survivor mode, and in that mode we turn on worry- because in our mind worry is simply analyzing and solving, and to analyze and solve something, you must think your way through it. Stop thinking, stop analyzing, and start praising God, start thanking Him, start asking Him- then shut up- and start listening to someone other than yourself.
No, I have not mastered this concept. I acknowledge I am guilty of losing my intimate relationship with God in certain battles, because I was too busy trying to be my own David-when I believe a stone is what kills the giant. God handles the giants in our life. Worrying, no matter how hard you try to dress it up in ‘prayer’ is an internal conversation about you, for you, and with you.
Our faith believes- believing and worry are like water and oil, when you mix the two- they will separate.